Schlumberger set to sparkle as Xmas nears

Champagne and wine maker Schlumberger has said it is bracing for “millions of sales” as Christmas approaches.The company explained today (Tues) it sells “a few million bottles between October and December” compared to “a few hundred thousands” in other months.Austrian retail trade representatives said recently that they expected to take in three to four per cent more ahead of this Christmas compared to the same period last year. The sector managed to increase its turnover by 1.3 per cent year on year to 48.6 billion Euros in 2009.Schlumberger, which is based in Vienna, also announced that its turnover in the first half of the current 2011/2011 business year (April to September 2010) increased by 4.4 per cent to 95 million Euros.The firm also managed to improve its earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit). Schlumberger suffered losses of 959,000 Euros in the first half of the previous business year. Its Ebit in the first six months of the current business year was 570,000 Euros.The positive developments also have to do with the takeover of Hochriegl, the firm pointed out. Schlumberger acquired the firm, previously one of its main rivals, in October 2009.Schlumberger claims that – with its brands Schlumberger, Hochriegl and Goldeck – it is the second-strongest brand on the Austrian champagne market behind German company Henkel which sells Henkel, Kupferberg and Söhnlein champagne.Schlumberger, which was founded in 1842, has around 200 employees. It was the first Austrian company to produce champagne using French techniques.